AMD Struggles To Meet Demand

Author
Aron Schatz
Posted
October 26, 2006
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2150

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AMD has some good problems. It is good to have high demand. On the other hand, AMD also hasn't moved to 65nm chip technology and hasn't totally moved to 300mm wafers. Those costs really eat alot.

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AMD's 90-nanometer dual-core Opteron and Athlon 64 processors have a die size of 199 millimeters squared. By chip design standards, that's considered a little large, McCarron said. When AMD starts making dual-core Opterons on its 65-nanometer manufacturing technology, that die size is expected to go down to something a little more comfortable that will allow AMD to produce more chips per wafer. An AMD representative declined to comment on the die size for its first 65-nanometer products. On a conference call following AMD's earnings results last week, Chief Financial Officer Bob Rivet noted that the company would see a cost benefit from its move to 65-nanometer processors in the fourth quarter, since the cost of building the wafer can be spread over more chips. He also pointed out that AMD still hasn't made the full transition to 300-millimeter-wide wafers from 200-millimeter wafers. Obviously, the larger the wafer, the more chips that can be cut from that wafer, and--not counting the one-time expense of purchasing 300-millimeter equipment--the extra costs of the larger wafer are negligible.

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